Sunday, January 17, 2021

‘Masonic Con 2020-ish’

     


Change of plans.

Forget what I told you last May about Masonic Con 2021 taking place in New Hampshire. I learned today the event will be at Ezekiel Bates Lodge in Massachusetts, as usual, April 30 to May 2.

Tickets available here.
     

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

‘The library of Alexandria’

     
Courtesy GWMNM


Not that Alexandria. This Alexandria!

Yes, there is good news from the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. It is announced in its latest newsletter how the digitization project was restarted last year. With its “more than 4,500 years of Masonic history” scanned, saved, and searchable, I suppose the Memorial is a modern Library of Alexandria—albeit with a specific focus.

I think it was about twelve years ago when Mark Tabbert, Director of Collections, announced the Memorial was to begin digitizing books of grand lodge proceedings. As of October, according to the anonymously written item in this newsletter, the effort thus far had 30 collections of grand lodges’, Royal Arch grand chapters’, Cryptic grand councils’, and Templar grand commanderies’ (plus Grand Encampment’s) archives as searchable data.

Where? Here.

In other high tech news, Shawn Eyer, Director of Communications and Development, recorded omnidirectional and three dimensional videos of the Memorial’s eleven public spaces. Sounds like sorcery to me, but take the tour—pandemic or no—here.

On the brick-and-mortar capital improvement side, the ongoing renovations have caught up to the windows in Memorial Hall.

Gone are the stained glass panels installed in the 1950s. Everybody loves stained glass, but that medium doesn’t really let there be light. Instead, the original architect’s vision of amber-color windows has been brought to fruition to shine golden rays upon Bryant Baker’s titan statue of Washington the Freemason. I bet it’s gorgeous.

I haven’t visited in ages. Hope to correct that soon.
     

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Died #otd: Chester Arthur Burnett

     
Courtesy Howlin’ Wolf Blues Society

Died on this date 45 years ago: Chester Arthur Burnett.

That’s Howlin’ Wolf to you and me.

While I have yet to find the specifics of his lodge membership, we all know African-American musicians, who traveled extensively, very often sought Masonic belonging so as to have an extra-friendly support system wherever they turned.

It seems the only clue we have is that pinkie ring visible in this photo, shot by Brian Smith in 1964.

That’s not much at all, of course. We do not know where or when Burnett received the degrees of Freemasonry. If the Mississippi native was made a Mason after relocating to Chicago, which is home to myriad lodges of offshoots derivative from Prince Hall Masonry, then the unanswered question could become more complicated.

I’m happy just to think of him as a Brother, without the political complications.

Burnett is said to have stood six and a half feet tall, and otherwise was massive in stature. I’d like to see the Ruffian tasked with the final blow. (And, if you know how physical a Prince Hall degree can be....) I hope he was a ritualist. A charge, for example, emanating from his presence would resound very effectively!

The music of Howlin’ Wolf reached a whole new world during the late 1960s when blues-based, guitar-heavy rock bands performed his songs. Just off the top of my head:

“I Ain’t Superstitious”
Jeff Beck Group

“Back Door Man”
The Doors

“Spoonful”
Cream

“Wang Dang Doodle”
Savoy Brown

“No Place to Go”
Fleetwood Mac

“Smokestack Lightning”
The Yardbirds

“Killing Floor”
Jimi Hendrix Experience
(and adapted by Led Zeppelin as “The Lemon Song”)

I’m sure there are many others. It actually took a Rolling Stones appearance on Shindig! in 1965 to bring Burnett before an American television audience. (And that Masonic ring can be seen.)




Raise your glass today to the memory of Howlin’ Wolf: Bro. Chester Burnett.
     

Thursday, January 7, 2021

‘Pure Ancient Masonry T.O. style’

     
The chapter room of Suwassett 195.


Last night, Suwassett Chapter 195 hosted a Zoom meeting where the HP reprised his lecture on “Traditional Observance Royal Arch Masonry.” As the Grand Chapter of New York’s representative near the Grand Chapter of New Jersey, I felt duty-bound to attend, but I would have anyway as a lover of both Capitular and Observant Masonry.

Chartered in 1857, Suwassett, located in Port Jefferson, New York, recently adopted the tenets of what is called “Observant Masonry,” if I understood the HP correctly, to save itself from extinction. Sounds like it’s working. My chapter also dates to 1857, and I’m trying to introduce Observant practices there to revivify an uninspired group.

(In my opinion, if you want the Observant lodge model—summarized quickly as solemnity and excellence in making Masons, profound education, quality dining, elegance in attire, et al.—but are stymied by the institutional atrophy that deadens too much of the Craft, you may find an easier way forward by bringing those practices to smaller, more flexible groups, such as those found in the York Rite. True, we don’t make Masons there, but great purpose and satisfaction can be realized.)

Our lecturer seems to keep his name off the web, so I won’t divulge it here, and I’ll get to the point. He wants Master Masons to know that although everything they have been entrusted to keep and conceal is massive and absolutely essential, it is not the entirety of the “pure Ancient Masonry” prescribed by the Articles of Union that amalgamated the rival English grand lodges in 1813. No, there is a certain revelation, a Word, a greater context that a Master Mason should know to see the mystery completed.

In addition, our speaker called our attention to elements of Craft lodge ritual that would seem to foreshadow a Royal Arch culmination. There are several arches incorporated into the floorwork of the Craft degrees (think about it); the Pillars in the Porch seem to map a subsequent journey in the unknowable future; and the lodge altar communicates in symbols not comprehended by Master Masons.

He also recalled to our minds the unfinished state of the SS of KST and the climax of the Hiramic legend itself to illustrate how “Blue lodge is the sound foundation, and Capitular Masonry is the superstructure of Freemasonry.”

The Q&A was light and fun, with some in the audience augmenting the lecture with commentary on local New York historical facts. Another Companion was innocently confused about one point of history, saying he believed Royal Arch Masonry was extant in the 1600s(!), and cited from memory the proof that there was a parade of RAMs in that era. Of course he is thinking of the Saint John the Evangelist Day public procession of Youghall Lodge 21 in Dublin, but that was 1743. A local paper reported the parade featured “the Royal Arch carried by two excellent Masons.”

All in all, it was a great way to enjoy an hour on a Wednesday night, and I hope this lecture is repeated for the enlightenment of Masons everywhere. Perhaps your lodge or chapter might contact Suwassett and extend an invitation.
     

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

‘An imaginary school of Masonic instruction’

     
In case you have not seen this yet, there is an interesting proposition afoot to create a Masonic college.

Walter Leslie Wilmshurst 
Named Wilmshurst University, it is the brainchild of Robert Johnson and Ben Williams. The former is well known about the apartments of the Temple through his many years of quality podcasting and other endeavors; the latter is maybe less well known, but is highly regarded thanks to his magazine publishing. 

WU wants to provide a very ambitious curriculum of Masonic instruction, with multifaceted components in history, philosophy, and practical work.

From the website:


What is Wilmshurst University?

Wilmshurst University is an imaginary school of Masonic Instruction. It teaches a curriculum consisting of the great philosophy of the ages, a deeper understanding of ritual, and the holistic values related to  leadership. Our coursework is designed to build a foundation of accurate historical knowledge, explore the philosophies, and learn practical application.


Read all about that here.

You also will see that instructors are needed.

And you won’t miss the financial aspect. The founders hope to raise $3 million to acquire real estate in Colorado where Wilmshurst University would be situated.

I wish them all the best! Frankly, this sounds more like a Shelbyville idea to me (with Shelbyville understood to be a country in Europe), but imagine the possibilities. What if the corporate charity foundations of all the grand lodges in the United States, plus the Scottish Rite jurisdictions, provided that money?

Maybe it’ll work out somehow. I’d enroll.
     

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

‘Royal Mint honors famous Freemasons’

     
Among the coins being introduced by the United Kingdom’s Royal Mint in 2021 are two that honor Scottish historical greats who were Freemasons.

One is a £2 denomination honoring Sir Walter Scott; the other, a 50 pence piece, memorializes the 75th anniversary of the death of John Logie Baird.

Scott (1771-1832) is a colossus of Scottish culture, having authored historical novels so memorable they’re probably being banned somewhere right now as you read this. You neo-Templars out there should be familiar with Ivanhoe at least.

According to this AQC paper from 1907 by Bro. Adam Muir Mackay, a Past Master of Lodge St. David 36 in Edinburgh, Scott was made a Mason in 1801 in St. David. He was initiated, passed, and raised during an emergent on March 2, which also happened to have been the 63rd anniversary of the lodge’s constitution by the grand master. Scott’s father was at labor there too.

The coin commemorates the sestercentennial anniversary of Scott’s birth.

John Logie Baird (1888-1946) pioneered television technology. According to the BBC:


On 26 January 1926 he gave the world’s first demonstration of true television before 50 scientists in an attic room in central London. In 1927, his television was demonstrated over 438 miles of telephone line between London and Glasgow, and he formed the Baird Television Development Company. (BTDC). In 1928, the BTDC achieved the first transatlantic television transmission between London and New York and the first transmission to a ship in mid-Atlantic. He also gave the first demonstration of both colour and stereoscopic television.


The lodge affiliation of Bro. Baird eludes me, but I’ll update this edition of The Magpie Mason upon finding that datum.
     

Saturday, January 2, 2021

‘1785 Masons’ Hall is ready for its close-up’

     


Way back on August 16, 2016, I shared with you the news of the Masonic temple in Richmond, Virginia embarking on a fundraising mission to affect necessary repairs and improvements to the 1785 structure. Yesterday, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported the success of the endeavors.

It is home to Richmond Randolph Lodge 19. The brethren say their building is America’s oldest purpose-built, continuously used Masonic lodge building, which, I think, is claimed by others elsewhere, but I leave that to historians able to track property titles and all that.
 
Click here to read the story, view the slideshow, and watch a short video.
     

Friday, January 1, 2021

‘Shriners movie due this year’

Happy New Year!

One of many things to look forward to in 2021, possibly, will be a movie about the Shriners.

Johnny Royal, who made the documentary 33 and Beyond: The Royal Art of Freemasonry in 2017, will be back in November with a new production.

I can’t find much information on American Shriners of Freemasonry, except that it “explores the 150-year legacy of the Shriners, their connection with Freemasonry, and the impact their culture, rituals, and fellowship have had on American society and fraternal organizations.”
     

Sunday, December 27, 2020

‘British Freemasonry, 1717-1813’

     
Happy St. John’s Day! I hope it was possible for you to celebrate someway.

The Open Lecture folks took this weekend off, and they shall return next month with a panel of scholars. From the publicity:


We will be back January 23, 2021 with another excellent OpenLFM Lecture which will be delivered by 
Róbert Péter, Cécile Révauger, Jan A. M. Snoek. The trio will introduce their five-volume British Freemasonry, 1717-1813 collection, while Andreas Önnerfors will chair the session and initiate post-discussion afterwards.

For more information, please visit our website.

In this lecture, the volume editors introduce the British Freemasonry, 1717-1813 resource collection and highlight some of the findings. The objective of the edition is to collate diverse rare print and manuscript materials, which provide insights into the history and culture of British and Irish Freemasonry between 1717 and 1813 from a broad spectrum of perspectives. The majority of the sources, including rituals, funeral services, sermons, orations, pamphlets, letters, theatrical epilogues and prologues, newspaper, periodical and magazine articles, have been overlooked in scholarship on the fraternity. The five themed volumes cover Institutions (1), Rituals (2-3), Debates (4) and Representations (5).


The Magpie Mason hereby signs off for calendar year 6020. I wish you all a Happy New Year. Here’s to a calmer, saner 6021 back in our lodges.
     

Friday, December 25, 2020

‘Grand Lodge safely half mile from blast’

     
No time is right for a massive explosion, especially Christmas morning, but, as you probably have heard, that’s what rocked Tennessee’s capital city at 6:30 a.m.

Six hours later, no deaths have been reported, but three injuries have been, in what authorities said they suspect was an “intentional act” involving the explosion of a recreational vehicle.

The headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, on Seventh Avenue, is only about half a mile up Broadway from the explosion site, reported to be 166 Second Avenue. I’ll guess its windows shook for a few seconds. (The Prince Hall Grand Lodge is very safely distanced in Memphis.)

The afflicted area is a tourist destination of significant Music City sites, including the Ryman Auditorium.

The Grand Lodge of Tennessee has a Facebook page, via which it acknowledged the blast, but I thought it also may be useful to post this little information here.
     

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

‘Congress as a Prince Hall research resource’

     


Of course the Library of Congress is a galaxy of opportunity for researchers pursuing any subject, including Freemasonry, but I want to share this note received Monday afternoon by the Masonic Library and Museum Association:


Good morning members of the Masonic Library and Museum Association. I wish to share the link to a LibGuide on Prince Hall Freemasonry:
The Library of Congress’ collections contain a variety of material associated with Prince Hall Freemasonry, the oldest recognized and continuously active organization founded in 1775 by African-Americans, including manuscripts, photographs, and books.
Please note that these are selected resources, and the guide will be updated early next year. (We did not include items where the bibliographic record indicated “missing” or “being processed.” I would be most grateful if you would share with the members of the Masonic Library and Museum Association. Also, if members’ collections contain any manuscripts/collections relevant to Prince Hall Freemasonry, would you please let me know?

Thank you, and my warmest regards. Please remain safe and healthy.

Sibyl E. Moses, Ph.D.
Reference Specialist and Recommending Officer
(African American History and Culture)
Main Reading Room
Researcher and Reference Services Division
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20540-4660
202-707-0940
     

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

‘Trump issues architecture order’

     


Hey, who said the Five Orders of Architecture are dead?

President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order yesterday to determine the architectural styles that may be employed in constructing certain federal government buildings in the future.

The “Executive Order on Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture” specifies how all U.S. government courthouses and agency headquarters, all federal public buildings in Washington, DC, and all other federal buildings that will cost $50 million or more shall be built in “such styles as Neoclassical, Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, Beaux-Arts, and Art Deco.”

This will be undone by the next president. The short-lived Executive Order will be a conscientious objection to the Comecon-style concrete and the schizophrenic steel and glass impositions that have prevailed for generations.

In promoting Classical architecture, Trump lauds historical figures, including some who are significant to Freemasonry, including Palladio, Christopher Wren, John Soane, and John Russell Pope.

Read all about it here.

For some background from February, click here.
     

Monday, December 21, 2020

‘MBC’s first offering announced’

     

The newly reestablished Masonic Book Club’s first title is a in production. The Perfect Ceremonies of Craft Masonry and the Holy Royal Arch are “the lineal ancestors of the official Emulation ritual and lectures,” according to the MBC’s announcement.

Per the stated conditions, the presses will roll only if the sufficient number of copies are sold in advance, and you have until January 21 to place your order (I was the tenth to do so). The cost of this 392-page volume is only $25. Click here.

With its publicity today, the MBC provided a PDF sample of the book that includes seven pages of the 21-page Introduction, and several pages of lodge Opening ritual. This will be a beautiful book, replete with marbled covers, decorated pages, and a satin ribbon—so you won’t have to dog-ear the pages like a savage. A step above the SRRS’s laudable Heredom, which is not an unattractive book.

If Perfect Ceremonies goes to press, it will ship at the end of March; if not, buyers will receive their refunds at the end of January. So order today! I want to see if the lectures are Preston’s or Hemming’s.
     

Friday, December 18, 2020

‘The Tiler as guardian of our moral compass’

     


Writing in The Square magazine, W. Bro. Stephen J. Goulding treats us to his personal and mightily insightful reflections on the importance of the lodge Tiler (our New York spelling), in the first of six essays the independent English magazine will publish to define six officer roles.

Goulding has been a Freemason for 42 years and is a 30-year veteran of The Met. When you read his essay, you’ll discern how his operative career work informs his speculative labors in the lodge. And vice versa. After retiring from the police, he became a college lecturer, and he now is retired professionally and teaches Tai Chi and Qigong.

Goulding sees a fourfold existence for the lodge Tiler. In part:

  • “To protect our moral selves.”
  • To ensure the candidates are prepared properly.
  • “To give the proper reports on the door of the lodge.”
  • To wield the implement of his office as it is the embodiment of the tng of gd rpt.

I bring this to your attention because Goulding’s elucidations are brilliant. (I’ve been Tiler of my lodge for several years; suddenly I’m feeling very inadequate and uncertain.) Please do take the few minutes needed to read his essay. There is a 15-minute video as well.
     

Monday, December 14, 2020

‘New media for Royal Arch’

      


The General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International is readying its new website and a redesigned Royal Arch Mason magazine.

The website is here (note the new URL), and it boasts several features that I hope will benefit the Companions wherever dispersed about the face of the earth.

There is a fledgling discussion forum. Also, there is a password-protected members section, but I hope you have better luck than I in registering. There also is a mailing list to join for periodic updates of information.

Most notable will be the pages devoted to education. The Capitular Learning Center promises guidance in practical knowledge (like officer functions and chapter business) and Masonic education (meanings of ritual and symbol, history, et al.).

Something to be proud of. I’m looking forward to the launch and to a commitment to maintaining this site. I wish them great success.
     

Friday, December 11, 2020

‘Hail the Men of the Malt!’

     


The brethren of South Bend, Indiana have done it again.

The Scottish Rite valley there has a long-standing habit of establishing new ways of rallying Masons to good and just causes. A number of years ago, it trailblazed in Masonic education with the launch of the South Bend Research Guild, providing a local venue where Masons could gather and enjoy the benefits of learning about esoteric and other aspects of Freemasonry.

Also, South Bend established a Knights of St. Andrew group to serve the valley in organizational support roles. (And I may be wrong about this, but I think I recall South Bend being the first in the NMJ to adopt this practice from the Southern Jurisdiction, where it originated.)

The brethren also initiated the Green Dragon Guild, leavening the valley’s crucially important hospitality duties with merriment and style.

So, who are the Men of the Malt?

This is quite likely the most significant meeting of Masons since nine guys in Charleston stood in a circle in 1801 and pinned medals on each other!

As Bro. John Bridegroom put it just about an hour ago:


Wonderful consecration meeting of the new Men of the Malt Scotch Tasting Guild at the Valley of South Bend! Started with a great steak dinner. After, we signed the charter, approved the by-laws, and elected the officers, we tasted a wonderful rare scotch. Then we retired to the guild room, where we enjoyed fellowship, more scotches, and planned for a bright future.



Sounds to me like they forgot the cigars, but—hey—it’s their first night. Slainte mhath, brethren!
     

Thursday, December 10, 2020

‘Launch of Prince Hall cigars’

     



Bro. David Blanco, of Blanco Cigars, announced Monday the release of a line of Nicaraguan sticks named for one of the most significant figures in the history of Freemasonry.

The launch was slowed by complications arising from the pandemic, but the first run of the two lines of Prince Hall cigars is reaching stores now. They are available online also.

From the publicity:


Prince Hall by Blanco Cigars are manufactured in Estelí, Nicaragua by Blanco Cigars at the family’s factory, and blended by Master Blender and fifth generation Master Mason David Blanco.

The genesis and creation of the brand started over a year ago, but due to COVID-19, is just now making its way to market as a regular production cigar. The impetus behind the brand was a desire to recognize and honor a great man and legend in the history of the United States and Freemasonry: Prince Hall. He was known as one of the most influential free black leaders during the founding of the United States in the 1700s, fighting slavery as one of the leading abolitionists and for equal education rights. He is also famously known as the father of Black Freemasonry which, to this day, is known as Prince Hall Masonry.

Available in two wrappers.

Habano Maduro
A full body cigar with rich, robust flavors and aromas. Including notes of leather, wood and earth with a floral bouquet and hint of spice throughout the retro-hale. Culminating with a clean, smooth finish.
Wrapper: Habano Maduro (Nicaragua)
Binder: Sumatra
Fillers: Nicaraguan
5 x 50 Square
6 x 52 Compass
6 x 60 Level
7 x 70 Boaz

Habano Rosado
A medium body cigar with complex notes of oak, leather and caramel with a pleasant floral aroma. Culminating in a slightly sweet, creamy, textured smoke with a clean, smooth finish.       
Wrapper: Habano Rosado (Nicaragua)
Binder: Nicaraguan
Fillers: Nicaraguan
5 x 50 Square
6 x 52 Compass
6 x 60 Level
7 x 70 Jachin

Square, Compass and Level sizes come in 50 count boxes and are also available five packs.

Boaz and Jachin sizes come in 30 count boxes and are also available in five packs.
     

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

‘New QCCC Local Secretary’

      

Over in New Jersey, one of the research lodge’s very own has been tapped to serve Quatuor Coronati Correspondence Circle. Congratulations Bro. Erich! He’s the new Local Secretary.


QCCC is the corporate arm of Quatuor Coronati Lodge 2076, and it serves to unite Freemasons wherever dispersed around the world in a membership that receives Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, the annual book of transactions published by the lodge.


The official announcement:


Welcome to Erich Huhn,
new Local Secretary
in New Jersey

Erich Morgan Huhn is a PhD student in History & Culture at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey. His research focuses on the historical role of membership as a ‘placing marker’ within society, with a particular interest in the history of Freemasonry in the English-speaking world.

Erich’s upcoming capstone paper will examine the role music has played in Masonic culture. Erich has presented on various Masonic topics, collects rare Masonic texts, and in 2019 published New Jersey’s Masonic Lodges, which provides a photo guide analysis of the development of Masonic architecture from the Colonial period to the present. Erich was raised as a Master Mason in November 2013 and is active within New Jersey Lodge of Masonic Research and Education, No. 1786. He has also participated in QC’s North American Conferences, most recently in Alexandria.

Erich can be contacted here.

     

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

‘The secret is out’

      

A work in progress: Bro. Ryan Flynn has been laboring on a portrait of Bro. Prince Hall for months. He revealed this photo via social media Monday.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

‘Azim 7 officers elected’

      



Azim Grotto No. 7, the handsome Veiled Prophets in New York City, elected its officers two weeks ago at Kinahan’s, where the following were chosen to lead for 2021:


Monarch A. Ruffini

Chief Justice B. Neri

Master of Ceremonies E. Zaremski

Venerable Prophet B. Donlon

Secretary A. Haight


Sorry to say I couldn’t be there, but attendance was capped at ten, and I thought it better to leave room for relevant Prophets. But I’m very much looking forward to a new year of, as one Grotto history book puts it, “weird ceremonies” and “red letter days!”

Monday, November 30, 2020

‘Masonic Values Art Competition’

      

The results of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania’s 2020 Masonic Values Art Competition are announced.


Ryan Flynn’s oil on canvas, “The Master and the Apprentice,” took the Grand Master’s Prize (and sold for $2,000).


My favorite:


Artist D TAG’s archival pigment print on Hahnemühle FineArt paper measures 40″ x 40″ x 2″. This photograph is a composition of folded dollar bills to reveal the message “Order From Chaos.” The idea was to capture the design and architecture on the U.S. currency associated with Masonic culture and the connection to Philadelphia.


Read all about it here.

     

 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

‘NPR asks What is the point?’

      


On October 16, National Public Radio’s Christianna Silva contacted the Masonic Society in researching how Freemasonry is coping with the pandemic, and what the Craft’s role in society today is.

An hour ago, NPR went live with its story. Click here. You’ll recognize a few names from TMS.

(The reporter is the daughter and granddaughter of Masons.)

     

Sunday, November 22, 2020

‘James Wasserman (1948-2020)’

      

The Wasserman family announced today on social media that James Wasserman had died November 18 after a long illness. Funeral arrangements are being made.


While I know nothing of O.T.O. nor of his writings on that subject, Wasserman also wrote books of interest to Freemasons, and he was a friend to the Livingston Library, and was an engaging speaker to Masonic audiences. I do not know if he was a Brother Mason. R.I.P.

     

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

‘CoinWeek explores the Mark Penny’

      

Courtesy CoinWeek


CoinWeek, an online periodical devoted to numismatics, occasionally addresses topics orbiting Freemasonry in articles about Masonic persons, places, and things commemorated on U.S. money. Last Friday though, it ran a piece not on coins or cash, but on a facet of exonumia well known to Mark Masons: the Mark Penny.


I recommend the article for the art that accompanies the text, because most of Tyler Rossi’s reporting is annoyingly bad. We can pardon the outsider’s nescience with our jargon, but it also sounds like he wants to misrepresent, such as when he claims the Craft has “a vitriolic opposition to the Roman Catholic Church.” He does cite sources, listing seven references in a bibliography, but he could have done better.


The value of this article is based mostly on the research delivered in Masonic Chapter Pennies (Vols. 1&2) by Dr. B.P. Wright from 1903 (a reprint from the July 1901 edition of The Numismatist). From there, I suppose, it is impossible to materially err.


Anyway, the article shares some exotic variations on the Mark Penny. Great, because if you’re like me, you know only the commonplace coinage from catalogs.


I’m rambling when I need only provide the link. Read all about it here.


Courtesy CoinWeek


Courtesy CoinWeek





Tuesday, November 17, 2020

‘Philly Temple closed’

      

The Masonic Temple in Philadelphia, headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, has been ordered closed through the end of the year by the city government.


At a press conference Monday, Mayor Jim Kenney and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley announced a list of precautionary measures for managing the pandemic, including a city-wide ban on indoor gatherings and events, whether public or private. The order was made effective to January 1 to permit time for desired benefits of the lockdown to materialize, because a vaccine will not be available until January, and because it is thought the spread of the virus will not abate until winter arrives. It is possible the ban on gatherings may be extended.


The list of varying prohibitions also affects businesses, schools, religious sites, museums, libraries, and other destinations.


The Grand Lodge announced the closure through its social media accounts after the mayor’s press conference.